Saturday, October 25, 2014
Egyptian president El-Sisi ''foreign hands behind attacks in the Sinai''
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi amidst generals of the SCAF during his tv-speech (Photo AP)
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in comments aired on state TV on Saturday that "foreign hands lie behind Friday's attacks" on army soldiers in Sinai that killed 31 troops and injured 30. Surrounded by top military generals, El-Sisi's comments came immediately following an emergency meeting of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on Saturday morning.
At meeting the SCAF tasked a group of its senior leaders with studying the circumstances of the attacks. The president also on Friday evening declared a three-months state of emergency in parts of North Sinai.
Addressing his remarks to the nation, El-Sisi said that it is important that the Egyptian people know that foreign forces ''aim to defeat the will of the military and of all Egyptians''.
In a sublime example of old fashioned typical Egyptian paranoia the president said that: "We must know that this terrorist attack was supported by foreign hands to defeat the military that has been protecting the Egyptian people and their will." and that he "even before 3 July 2013" knew that all these attacks would take place. (The date he mentioned was the date on which he committed a coup against president Mohamed Morsi opf the Muslim Brotherhood, which - by his words - in retrospect all of a sudden appeared to have been more justified than ever before. It seems it was really about saving Egypt from disappearing from the map altogether).
"We had a choice - either the people or the army had to confront terror. We chose that the army carry out the mission," El-Sisi said, adding that this was about an "existential war"., in which, as he said the ''real danger'' was that ''foreign hands wanted to intervene between the armed forces and the (ordinary) Egyptians''. The Egyptians, he said, ''must realise how broad the conspiracy against us is."
Personally I would like to add the comment that it is unfortunate that El-Sisi failed to name of the perpetrators of the conspiracy. But maybe he will make up for that the next time a bomb explodes in the Sinai.